The Department of Health (DOH) said that the Sinovac vaccine can provide protection for people against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Itong Sinovac vaccine na ito ay nakapagpalabas ng real world study nga and it’s saying that it’s effective against hospitalization, severe COVID-19, against deaths (This Sinovac vaccine has produced a real world study and it’s saying that it’s effective against hospitalization, severe COVID-19, and deaths),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, July 9.
Vergeire made the statement as concerns on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine were raised again after Singapore excluded in its COVID-19 vaccine tally those who took the China-made vaccine.
However, this move of Singapore should not be interpreted as “no vote confidence” on the said vaccine.
“Ang sinasabi ng Singapore, mag-aantay sila ng datos galing sa manufacturers ng Sinovac, but they did not say na ayaw nila kasi hindi nakakapagpakita ng magandang proteksyon sa kanilang kababayan (Singapore said they will wait for data from Sinovac manufacturers, but they did not say that they do not want it because it cannot show good protection to their citizens),” said Vergeire.
Vergeire also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) already granted the Sinovac vaccine an emergency use listing.
“That alone proves na dekalidad siya, may quality, at safe sa population (That alone proves that it is high-quality and is safe for the population),” she said.
Mix and match
Meanwhile, the country’s Vaccine Experts Panel is still studying the mixing and matching of vaccine brands.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Rolando Enrique Domingo said that mix and match is also being studied by other countries, particularly in Europe, citing the combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that showed “high efficacy.”
Domingo said that a similar initiative is now being undertaken by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the Sinovac vaccine and other available vaccine brands in the country.
“Theoretically hindi naman siya masama. Mukhang makakatulong naman kaya lang hindi pa natin documented. But this will be part of the study that the DOST will be doing. Kasama na sa vaccine efficacy nila ang possible mixing and matching (Theoretically this is not bad. It looks like it will be helpful but we haven’t documented it yet. But this will be part of the study that the DOST will be doing. Their vaccine efficacy (study) already includes possible mixing and matching),” he said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
“(We are one) of the countries that are using more Sinovac than other brands and it’s not being studied by other countries now, so we’re going to have to do it ourselves,” he added.